WoW's Sanctum Of Domination Raid Culminates In A "Pivotal Moment" For Sylvanas

The new raid in the Chains of Domination 9.1 patch includes a big fight with Sylvanas that's been years in the making.

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The upcoming Chains of Domination patch for World of Warcraft's Shadowlands expansion lets players do battle against the Banshee Queen herself, Sylvanas. It's a fight that's been brewing for years, and players are now finally getting the chance to go to war against her.

Sylvanas is the final boss in the Sanctum of Domination raid that's coming to Shadowlands with the 9.1 update. At BlizzConline recently, we had a chance to speak with World of Warcraft technical director Frank Kowalkowski, who offered his thoughts on the greatly anticipated fight and what players can expect from it.

"This has been years in the making. This has been a very long story arc," he said. "And tying back to Domination. It's fitting that she's at the top of the sanctum of Domination. Sylvanas' own life began at the hands of Domination and she's followed this path to eventually align with the Jailer going down the path that she's had. So I think it'll be a satisfying fight. I think it's going to be very unique. We have some very cool things planned for players. Wish we could share them now! But players will see soon enough what we have planned there."

Intriguingly, Kowalkowski also teased that the aftermath of the battle against Sylvanas will have major ramifications.

"The aftermath of that fight is going to be a very pivotal moment, not just for the Shadowlands but for Sylvanas as well," he said.

Before players get to fight Sylvanas, they'll have to successfully make their way through the Sanctum of Domination, which sounds like a truly challenging raid. The raid has 10 bosses and numerous encounters, culminating in the fight against Sylvanas.

Principal game designer Jeremy Feasel told GameSpot that players may notice that Blizzard's developers have implemented some changes and improvements in the new Sanctum of Domination raid. Specifically, Blizzard created the raid with an eye on providing players with a greater clarity of the boss space surrounding them.

"We've been working very closely with our visual effects teams to make sure that we have custom visuals for raid fights and that they really stand out compared to player visuals," Feasel said. "We're also very closely looking into what we call the 'noisiness' of the player class visuals and player covenant visuals, and making sure that those in a raid space don't overwrite the boss abilities. To make sure that we have a clarity level there."

As for the encounters themselves, Feasel teased that Blizzard created some "new and interesting and novel mechanics," going on to say that there will also be narrative elements woven into the raid fights.

"The purpose of putting out a whole 10-boss raid is we have a big story to tell there, we have a lot of characters we want to see in the Jailer's personal torment chambers that are maybe characters from our past," he said. "There's a lot to accomplish there. We have a lot of big ideas."

Finally, Feasel said he's excited for the Chains of Domination update to arrive on WoW's public test realm so the team at Blizzard can collect and examine feedback before rolling it out publicly to everyone. There is no word just yet, however, as to when Chains of Domination might hit the PTR or public servers.

For more on our conversations with the WoW team at BlizzConline, along with some of the biggest news from BlizzConline, check out the stories below. There was plenty on both Diablo 4 and Diablo 2: Resurrected, the latter of which was officially announced during the opening ceremony:

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Now Playing: World of Warcraft: Shadowlands: Chains of Domination Trailer | BlizzCon 2021

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